Author: Jerry

Antecrastination

Antecrastination is the opposite of procrastination.

From ante (Latin: before, in front of, prior to, forward; used as a prefix) + crastinus (Latin: of tomorrow, from cras, tomorrow).

So, simply it means “before tomorrow” and it’s my word for the year. I just finished The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (again). I’ve read it maybe 10 times and got it this time in audio format to listen to in the car. It is a book about Resistance and procrastination is a form of resistance.

Resistance is defined in this case as the only thing that stands between where you are and where you want to be. As we begin this new year (it’s the 9th of January already!) I am aware of what I need to do to get things done and more aware of the things I am not doing. Procrastination is a big thing for me but I’m working on it.

What is your thing? What are you working on? As I think about antecrastination I just say to myself ‘before tomorrow’ and it seems to help.

Another thing I am doing is filling out my Daily Focus Schedule.

Click that link and you’ll get back to the article I wrote about it. I find I use it a bit differently that I used to. I used fill it out and put it in a 3 ring binder but then seldom looked at it during the day. It helped to fill it out but my focus would wander and most times I was not getting done the things I said were important.

Now I pull out a blank form, fill it out and leave it on my desk for the day. If I’ve done all I planned on I can put it in the drawer on the stack of ones I’ve completed and fill out a new one on the next work day. If I did not get it done, leaving it on the desk makes it easier to carry over the things not done and then file it.

Anyway, it seems to help me stay focused on the tasks I said were important.

So, what is your word for the year? I’d love to hear your perspective and how you plan to achieve your goals. Maybe we can help each other.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

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PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

Productivity?

It’s almost 2019 and there are a glut of articles about being more productive. I’m not going to add to that but instead maybe I’ll subtract. I’m thinking we need to do less, not more in 2019.

One of my annual reads is The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. That link will open a sample of the book for you to check out. In it they address many of the productivity myths and how they are actually counterproductive. Things like multi-tasking and will power being at will call.

It all comes down to doing what’s important and deciding to let the rest go or give it to someone else to do but how to decide? What happens if you don’t decide but instead just work harder, faster, smarter or any other rationalization you can come up with? I know folks who work really hard and get no where. They do good things every day and still get no closer to the goals they have. How do you decide?

In the book they ask a question.

“What’s the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

That’s the focusing question. The rest is about priority and doing what you know to do.

Now, don’t misunderstand me and think there is just one thing you can or should do in life. I don’t mean that but there are only a few areas of life that we can focus on. I’d suggest they are Spiritual, Family, Business, Financial and Personal (health and well being).

Can you come up with an answer to the focusing question in each of those areas and then dedicate the time to them so you get them done before you do anything else?

I believe we can and I believe if we don’t then we will struggle more than necessary. Life throws things at us and it’s our job to decide what to do with them. How do we spend our time and money solving life’s challenges?

What’s the one thing I can do right now to have a better relationship with my spouse? That might be a Family oriented question. I always said the best way I can teach my children about love is to show them how much I love their mom. Focus there and maybe other things will be less urgent.

What’s the one thing I can do right now to improve my business? Maybe it’s making those phone calls daily to past clients and friends in my database to forge better relationships. Focus on those things only you can do and delegate the rest.

What’s the one thing I can do right now to improve my financial situation? Maybe it’s balancing the accounts and making sure I’m not over spending on the wrong things.

Focus small. Find the areas that have the biggest impact on your life and make sure you do them well.

It’s almost 2019 and we get a new year to do something different unless what you’re doing right now is getting you everything you want. I’ll bet there is room to improve in lots of ways.

Read the book and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

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PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

You had 1 job!

I just read a story headline that read
“Someone left a human heart on a Southwest Airlines flight”.  

My first thought was to think about the person responsible for that heart. They had one job and it was a really important job and something went really awry. 

I read the story and the details are still fuzzy but the pilot found out about the mistake and turned the flight around. I think the heart got to where it needed to in time but as I marinated on it most of the day I kept coming back to that thought.

You had 1 job.

What’s your one job? Do you have 1 job that is really important to care for? 

In our business the most important thing is lead generation but what does that mean when you work by referral. Like the details of that story, it can be a bit fuzzy. 

We would likely say our business is built on relationships, wouldn’t we? We connect with people every day and some come into our sphere of influence and some don’t. What makes the difference? Our energy level can make the difference or the attitude of the person we meet. Things just don’t click and we pass on them or we find we like them and it allows them to enter our stream of relationships. 

A stream is an interesting metaphor. People come and they go. I just had a closing with a couple I met just a few weeks ago. They listed their house with me and moved to Utah. That’s a long way from Atlanta and chances are I will never see them again. It was a great relationship and we had several hurdles to overcome but it closed and we all said ‘Thanks’, but now they are gone. Outside my sphere. That’s not a bad thing but it is a true thing. People come and people go. 

So back to that one job. I love that our business can be built on relationships and a great quote from Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) said it best. “If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business.”

I would propose that is your 1 job. Build relationships every day. It requires time, energy and maybe a bit of your money but it will be worth so much more than the time, energy and money you might spend on online leads or cold calling. So much more. 

Have a great weekend if I don’t get anything posted before then. I’m working on videos and it’s going to be a packed time to get some work done. 

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

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PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

Get In Line

Imagine standing in a line of 100 people. They are nice enough but you don’t know any of them. Your job is to get one of them to say ‘Yes’ to you and most if not all of them only know how to say ‘No’. 

As you work to get them to say ‘Yes’ they get a bit less pleasant. As you approach them they realize you are hoping for a ‘Yes’ but they don’t know you and they certainly don’t trust you. They are nice on the surface but you can feel their frustration of being interrupted. They don’t have time for you or need what you offer right now and you don’t have time while in this line today to build any trust and the best tool you have is fear (what happens if they say ‘No’) or deception, to tell them what they want to hear in hopes of getting a ‘Yes’ so you can build trust later. 

The line keeps getting longer so you know you can keep working as long as you want to so you can perhaps find a ‘Yes’ but it becomes obvious most of them will say ‘No’. You keep working, hoping, expecting but it’s getting harder to stay positive and most of us will quit doing this stuff. It works but it’s exhausting and then we feel guilt for quitting.

So what’s the alternative?

Contrast that with a party. You know almost everyone and they like you and most even trust you. There aren’t as many folks there but almost all of them know how to say ‘Yes’. The few folks you don’t know are friends of the ones you do and they are happy to introduce you to their friends and to tell a bit about you, how they know you and the trust they have in you.

This was the picture I had in my head of the difference between working by referral and cold calling. It captures how it feels to me. Friends vs strangers, trust vs deception, building relationships vs using relationships. 

I saw a question in a Facebook group about how hard it is to lead generate this holiday season. For me it’s the easiest thing in the world. Go to the parties, make friends, build relationships and trust. Relax and don’t worry about getting to the end of the line or you can sit on the phone, dialing for dollars and getting through the 100 ‘No’ hoping to find the ‘Yes’. 

As the year winds down, spend time with family and friends, invest in others and listen for ways to help, to encourage, to build up and the referrals will come. Maybe not today but they will come and it’s a lot better way to live this life. 

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson 
678-616-1578 Direct

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PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

Now What?

Things are slowing down in this business. I still have a couple of listings and more coming but my buyers are settling in for a long winter’s night it seems. It happens every year and I’ve learned to roll with it but I don’t stop working just because the buyers are quiet.

Quiet times are made for planning and I wanted to share some thoughts about planning for a new year. You need to set some goals and put some systems in place to make them happen. No one else is going to tell you what to do, are they?

Average in this business will kill you. Average is about 5 transactions and while that might get you into the Million Dollar Club (selling a million) it won’t pay many bills if this is your only income. A million in sales will get you a gross commission of about $25,000 to $30,000. Split that with your broker and pay your expenses and taxes and you’re looking at less than minimum wage for the work you did. That is what the average agent earns in this business.

Not to be depressing I want to make sure you don’t end up average. Remember we are working toward a vibrant database of at least 100 people and you can get 20-30 transactions out of that. That is not average but it is achievable, for sure.

So, how many transactions do you want? If it’s 5 that is fine but you need to write down how many. 5? 10? 50? It’s a goal to strive for so you can set up systems to get you there. 

Remember how folks say this business is a numbers game? It usually refers to cold calling as in 1 our of 100 will say ‘yes’ but it’s true when you work by referral too. We count different things however.  

As a new agent, if you make 20 contacts it will produce a referral. It will take 2 or 3 referrals to turn into a closing and referrals are a lot easier to work with. The numbers get better over time as your database feels cared for. So let’s say you’re looking for 12 transactions this year. That means you need to make 60 contacts a month and if you work 20 days a month you’ll make 3 calls per day. Follow up with notes and make a few lunch dates and you’ll get where you want to be. 1 deal a month and in my market that is about $90,000 GCI. Not your average agent, for sure. 

Remember, this is ultimately about systems to get you to your goals. Goals are good but it takes systems to achieve them. Systems are simple if you do them right. It’s a pattern that’s achievable each and every day. A habit that can get you what you want. To make those calls everyday means to sit down in the chair, open your CRM software and dial the phone to 3 people. Have a conversation about them and remind them you work by referral and that’s it. Simple system and it produces the sort of business you wanted when you started out. You can do all that in about an hour and then off to the day and meeting your commitments. 

 This is a great business and all it takes is a bit of focus and daily activity to make it work. If this sounds good to you then stick around to learn how.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

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PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

How many do you need?

crowd photo

That’s a question we ask a lot.

I was baking a cake yesterday for a small gathering and I had to check on several things. How many eggs, how much flour, how much sugar and butter. All those things go into a cake and it’d been a while since I had made one so I had to check and make sure I had enough but that is easy to do. Just check the recipe and you’ll have a shopping list.

It’s harder in this business. How many folks do you need in your database. It’s not a simple answer but there are some things to think about.

80% of all real estate deals involve agents that are referred from family and friends. Remember, that’s what makes this working by referral as productive as it is. We can talk about the 20% some other time but I want you to focus on the 80% for now.

Statistically, everyone knows 2 people who will be doing a real estate deal in the next 12 months. That’s just numbers and you can calculate it based on the number of folks we know,  how long we stay in our homes we own and the number of new households forming up right now. It’s just math (and I did the math) but there is more to it when you are working by referral.

If you have 100 folks in your database then that’s 200 deals or 400 sides in potential. The key word is ‘potential’. You will not get them all. The folks don’t always know what their friends are doing and they might give the referral to someone else. It happens.

Another stat I’ve heard lately is everyone knows 12 real estate agents so they are your competition, in a way. You’re competing with 11 agents for mind share of your database. The good news is most agents won’t use the same effort to stay in touch as you will. They won’t build the relationship in the same way you can. You will be the person your folks think of because of the contribution you make to them on a regular basis.

My goal and I believe yours should be to connect with 100 people and connect so well you get referrals from them. Out of the 400 sides that exist as potential I can show you how to get 20-30 or more and develop a great business in the process. One number I’ve heard recently is called Dunbar’s number. It says we can only maintain 150 stable social relationships and I suspect that’s pretty accurate. I’ve heard other number of 228, 231 and 290 but let’s be conservative and stick with the 150. If your goal is to care for your database at the highest level and dig deeper into the relationships so they know, like and trust you, then focus on the 150.

People move into and out of your life. Relationships change and get warmer or colder for lots of reasons but if you focus on building your database to 150 warm relationships and work to serve them, I’d say you’ll have a great business and enjoy the journey you go on with them.

If you tell me you have a database of 5000 or 10,000 I’m going to say it’s not a database but it’s a mailing list and if you are emailing or texting all of them you’re spamming. That used to work in our business and some say it still does but then so does cold calling and door knocking. The danger is it works but it’s like a slot machine. It pays just enough to keep you engaged while it empties your wallet and burns through the relationships at an unsustainable rate.

Focus on your 150 and I’ll do the same. It will pay off.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

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PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

 

It’s Lonely Here

lone photo

It can feel lonely here. I remember when I started in real estate I was the only one who believed I could do it by referral. There were lots of folks on the cold call, door knocking path and it was well worn by the folks that had gone before (and failed) but the working by referral path was wide open.

There was one other agent who became my team leader in a new office (same company) who believed in this method, attended some events with me structured around the referral mindset but it was still lonely. There were no meetings to encourage me because there was no one else doing this.

If you feel like you’re the only one, that’s normal. Numbers show that about 10% of the agents exposed to this method actually pursue it. If you’re reading this then I suspect you’re in the 10%. We’re not for everyone so I’m focusing on the folks who want to do business this way.

My encouragement to you is to find others in your office or agents you’re working with (even other offices or brands) who want to do this too. When you work by referral there is little to no competition so you can focus on helping each other instead of trying to compete. There is a lot of freedom in that.

Encourage the ones  you find to join us by signing up below and then form a group of 3-7 people to hold yourselves accountable.  3 is really a minimum number because it’s unlikely everyone in the trio will give each other a pass. When 2 do it then it’s tough to stay consistent but 3 works well. More than 7 gets to be a bit much to organize meetings and track each others progress and frankly finding 7 will be a challenge.

I’m part of a group of 12 but that covers an area that is about half the agent population in Atlanta. We meet monthly but it’s mostly about encouragement and not accountability. I have a coach for that. It’s possible to find partners to help you without the coach thing and if you’re just starting out you might not have the funds to commit to coaching. That is OK. Small steps will get you there if you keep going.

We’ll be talking more about accountability groups and how that works but the first thing is to find those you want to gather with.

Share this post with them and ask them to sign up. We’ll get them on the same path pretty quickly and see if they will travel with us.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578

Not my job

job photo

My last job ended on August 31st, 2001. I have not gotten a paycheck from someone else since then but I have not missed a meal or slept under a bridge. I am really past age 55 and I hear it’s tough to get a job if you’re older but I hope to be gainfully unemployed for the rest of my life.

This blog is pointed toward real estate agents primarily but it applies to anyone who wants to be self employed and searching for a way to make that work. I’d like to explore the difference between a job and a business with you.

A job involves waiting. You have to fill out applications and then you wait. You get a call and they want to talk to you so you schedule a phone interview and  you wait. They call you again and schedule a face to face interview and then you wait. Waiting is hard to do when you need a job.

You get the call that says you got the job! Your start date is 30 days away so you wait. You get to the office on your start date and introduce yourself to the person at the front desk and they show you to a conference room and ask you to wait. You meet the HR director and they give you lots of stuff to fill out and then you wait. They introduce you to your new boss and you meet for a bit and get shown around, introduced to a few folks and then you sit down at your new desk. And wait.

Getting a job means waiting on lots of other folks and waiting to be picked. Having a business does not involve as much waiting. Surely there is a bit but no one is going to tell you what to do so you don’t have to wait on them. You get to decide the next steps toward getting customers, clients and maybe a few employees if it all goes well. It’s on you and that can be more frightening than waiting. I once heard the most frightening word in the English language is ‘Freedom’ and I think that might be true.

For over 100 years we have been conditioned to think we need a job. I blame the industrial revolution. Because of the need for compliant factory workers, public schools came into existence. The goal was to create those workers. Sit down, line up, wait and by all means, be quiet. It was needed and it worked in the 60’s, 70′ and 80’s. It’s shifted with a lot of those types of jobs being eliminated by tech or moving to less expensive locations. That’s not a bad thing but it certainly upsets what feels like normal to us.

No one really teaches you about owning a business. Being a real estate agent is a good way to start to learn but you have pay attention to some things you never cared about before. The big one that surprises most agents is the need for lead generation. When I started I had 300 folks that I thought would just ‘work with me’ because they knew me. I didn’t know they would throw my mailing in the trash, unopened. I didn’t want to pick up the phone and call them because I was afraid. As I look back, I’m not sure what I was afraid of but I remember the fear (some call it ‘call reluctance’).

The real estate business is stuck in the 80’s too in some regards. Most brokers teach cold calling and door knocking as the way to find business and the problem with that is it works. It’s like a slot machine that pays just enough to keep you engaged while it empties your pockets.

I believe the best business is referral based and my goal is to teach how to do that so you get started on the best path to success. Some make it in this business in spite of what’s taught but it’s a low 15% success rate. 85% don’t make it and I think that’s wrong.

There is lots to learn about running a business and you need to be connected to a brokerage that teaches that. If you are in the business less than a year and you think of it as a job, you’re in danger of being in that 85% who fail or quit.

If you don’t have the support you need then I encourage you to stay tuned here (sign up below for more info) and find a place to learn the business of real estate.

You’re welcome to call me or email me and we can talk if you like. I want you to succeed!

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

 

PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up below we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

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How to disappear

lessons photo

Lessons come from lots of places.  I just celebrated the 43rd anniversary of my 21st birthday and I’ve had the opportunity to learn lots of lessons.

Sometimes I learned and sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out the lesson. This one took a while.

At the age of 24 I decided to take up Tae Kwon Do. I studied under Sung Jae Park in Indianapolis and I believe it or not he’s still teaching.

I started as all students do. A white belt and I knew nothing. Maybe less than nothing. I paid for 6 months of lessons up front. I was out of shape, smoking a pack a day and ready to make a change. Just coming out of a bad marriage and trying to figure out what to do next. This was just want I needed.

Master Park was a great teacher. He spent the time to help us get the details right. Details matter in martial arts. Form, position, conditioning and so much more. I was in the class room 5 nights a week at the start. I was allowed to come to the more advanced classes too after a little while. My class started about 6pm every night and the advanced class started at 7pm

I learned something about people while I was there.

The other white belts had something to prove and sometimes it ended up in bruises on my forearm as I protected myself from a badly executed round house kick. I learned how to block and protect myself first but then I learned how to disappear. That was better. Let me explain.

Sparring is part of the learning in Karate. It can be violent and painful but most lessons are if they are worth anything. As I developed skills I got more confident and I was willing to attend the higher belt classes. They were much more interested in teaching and helping. The black belts especially because they had nothing to prove. They could do it and we all knew they could. No one questioned their ability but they practiced to improve continually. It was about beating yourself instead of your opponent.

One of those black belts saw my bruises and asked me about them. He listened and then taught me how to avoid instead of block. To be someplace other than where the blow was coming. To disappear. You could still see me but it was harder to hit me.

Master Park taught the same thing later but with better results. He would demonstrate and I got to work with him one on one a couple of times. If you tried to hit him he just wasn’t there. If you tried to reach out to get him he would take you down in a lesson to show the value of balance. Humiliating at first but later it became a favorite part of my lessons. To learn from him.

Lessons learned? There are a few captured here.

Find someone with nothing to prove but really wants to help. They can be a mentor and will show you things you didn’t even know to ask.

Practice and be willing to take a few bruises on the way to getting better. Challenge yourself to be better than you were yesterday. This is not a contest, this is a chance to improve.

Be consistent and show up for class even if you’re over your head. You’ll learn more and stretch to be a better person.

That’s enough for this time but I am sure there are more lessons coming. Stay tuned.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

PS: For more info now and to make sure you don’t miss anything in the future, sign up below for the free eBook I wrote. We’ll show you how to work by referral from day one. No cold calling or door knocking. We promise we’ll never spam you or sell your info. It’s just so we can stay in touch. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Half True

pinocchio photo

Photo by kewl

My son said something back to me a couple of days ago that told me he was listening after all. He said “A half truth is a whole lie”. I think he might have said it a bit differently but that was clearly the thought I was trying to get across when he was 12.

I wish our politicians would learn this lesson. It’s election season again and I am trying to hear what they are saying but it’s hard with all the half truths flying around.

It’s possible to tell something that’s true and it not be the whole truth. Maybe that candidate voted for (or against) something in the past but if we don’t have the whole story we are not sure what and why they did it. It means taking something out of context and sharing it in a way that makes us look good or them look bad. Us and Them. Maybe that’s part of the problem. It ought to be ‘We’, shouldn’t it?

We the People. That’s how this all got started. We the people decided to fight for Justice, Domestic Tranquility and the Common Defense. It’s gone way past what we planned from a federal government but that’s a different rant for a different day.

Let’s stick with the half truth thing.

It’s usually about this time I start giving away a book. The book was written by Andy Andrews and the title is How do you kill 11 million people? A quote from the book is:

We must recognize that, as voters, we sometime accept a lie when it suits our own self-interest. That’s why polls sometimes show that Americans are in favor of throwing everyone out of Congress except their representative (at least among those knowing who their representative is.

It has become an accepted political strategy for politicians to tell voters the lies we want to hear. We, in turn, reward them with elected positions even when we know we’re not being told the truth.

Another quote is:

The danger to America is not a single politician with ill intent. Or even a group of them. The most dangerous thing any nation faces is a citizenry capable of trusting a liar to lead them.

In the long run, it is much easier to undo the policies of a crooked leadership than to restore common sense and wisdom to a deceived population willing to elect such a leader in the first place. Any country can survive having chosen a fool as their leader. But history has shown time and again that a nation of fools is surely doomed

From the book but actually a quote from Hitler himself is ‘How fortunate for leaders … that men do not think. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.’  That seems to be the theory behind the TV and Internet ads that I see. They are telling a different story about the same person or event so I know they can’t both be the truth. Likely, neither are the truth even though some aspect of it might be true.

So where am I going with this?

I want you to buy the Kindle version of his book and read it. It’s $2.99 when I looked last time and you can read it with the free Kindle app on your phone or their cloud reader on your laptop. It’s a short read (20 minutes or so) and it is sobering in an election season.

I’ll leave you with the mystery that can be answered if you read the book.

How loudly are you singing?

You’ll understand if you read the story about the church located near the railroad tracks.

I hope you follow through and read this. It could make all the difference.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct